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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Dec 09 2011, 12:00 PM

MINI wanted to celebrate its return to the world of rallying with the MINI WRC Team in the FIA World Rally Championship by offering a new accessories package for Cooper S and SD Countryman owners. The MINI John Cooper Works Championship tuning package pays homage to MINI’s new rally star and gives owners a nice rally theme to their vehicles.

Features of the accessory package includes checkered-flag stripes and the number 37 on the side of the car, paying homage to Dani Sordo who currently drives in the WRC. In addition, side scuttles in a special package design are included alongside additional fog lights. To round it all off, a John Cooper Works aerodynamic package is included color-matched to the vehicle.

Available as an option are a set of double-spoke R129 wheels in matte black. The package is now available at MINI dealerships, but no pricing was announced with the press release.

 |  Oct 30 2011, 10:00 AM

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Hot on the heels of MINI’s Coupe release is the announcement of the 2012 MINI Roadster and the various versions it’ll be offered in. The new MINI Roadster will be the company’s first manually-opening drop-top two-seater and will be North American showrooms in mid-2012. Compared to the MINI Cooper Cabriolet, the MINI Roadster will be 0.1-inch shorter, 1.9-inches narrower and 1-inch lower.

Standard to the Roadster will be electric power steering and Dynamic Stability Control while Dynamic Traction Control with Electronic Differential Lock Control will be optional. Roll-over bars in polished stainless steel and a rear spoiler that automatically extends at 50-mph further adds to the Roadster’s sportiness.

The 2012 MINI Roadster will be available in four different models: John Cooper Works Roadster, Cooper S Roadster, Cooper Roadster and Mini Cooper SD Roadster (sorry, no diesel roadsters for North America). Both the John Cooper Works and Cooper S variants will be powered by a 1.6L four-cylinder with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology with the JCW model pushing 211-hp and 192 lb-ft of torque while the Cooper S packs 184-hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. The standard Cooper will feature a 1.6L four-cylinder with 122-hp and 118 lb-ft of torque. Last but not least, the SD will be powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder turbodiesel with Mini TwinPower Turbo technology making 143-hp and 255 lb-ft of torque.

No retail pricing was announced on the 2012 MINI Roadster.

GALLERY: 2012 Mini Roadster

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Interested in the MINI Coupe? Read the review or watch AutoGuide’s video review here.

 |  Jun 24 2011, 1:00 PM

MINI has recently released the all-new 2012 Coupe and it will pack a serious punch. The company’s racing heritage will continue with this sporty two-door in the John Cooper Works Coupe Endurance. This race car has been developed to compete in this weekends 24-hour Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit. MINI will race the “Green Hell”, as the track is affectionately known with two cars wearing numbers 146 and 147. Three other MINI teams will also track two cars each, making for eight MINI’s in a race of 250.

The race car gets a specially-tuned version of the factory produced John Cooper Works engine, packsinga 1.6-liter four cylinder equipped with a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection. The car will produce 250-hp with an over-boost function cranking out 330 lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 240 km/h.

The car looks and sounds great in the video and looks very quick. The exhaust system sounds mean and the minute and a half long video is definetly worth watching.

Check out the video after the jump!

Continue Reading…

 |  Jun 21 2011, 2:23 PM

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AC Schnitzer is laying claim that they sport the world’s fastest MINI, with their John Cooper Works-based AC Schnitzer Eagle. And while you’re probably thinking AC Schnitzer set some record on the quarter mile or out at Nurburgring, their test bed was actually the famed Grand Prix Circuit at Hockenheim. It was there that their Eagle laid waste to the track, clocking in a 1:13.341 lap time.

According to AC Schnitzer, that lap time is good enough to blow away MINI’s direct competition and only cars such as the X-BOW, M3 and AMG Mercedes were able to beat their Eagle around the track. To compare, BMW’s 1M Coupe recently logged a time of 1:14.1 in its 340-hp body. So AC Schnitzer has been able to fine-tune their Eagle to 260-hp and shaved off about 176-lbs and the result speaks for itself.

Unfortunately those interested in what AC Schnitzer has done to the John Cooper Works MINI in order to achieve this type of performance will have to sit in the dark some more. This was simply done as a concept study and will not be available for sale, as AC Schnitzer wanted to optimize all areas of the vehicle for efficient performance. What we do know is that along with the power upgrades (which includes a full exhaust), AC Schnitzer employed height-adjustable racing suspension and a set of 18-inch AC Schnitzer Mi2 wheels.

They did announce that the AC Schnitzer Eagle has a value of almost $89,000.

Check out a video of the beast after the break.

GALLERY: AC Schnitzer MINI Cooper Eagle

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Continue Reading…

 |  Jun 21 2011, 11:16 AM

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MINI has just released official details, photos and now pricing for the eagerly awaited all-new 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe. Available in three different trim levels, including the Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works, base Coupe model starts at $22,000 and will come equipped with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 121-hp and 118 lb-ft of torque.

So if you already thought the Coupe was mostly similar to the hard-top hatchback model, you now have another reason, with the base price just $900 more than the traditional MINI.

The mid-level S model starts at $25,300 and gets a turbocharger delivering 181-hp and 177 lb-ft of torque with a special overboost function producing 192 lb-ft of torque.

The high-performance John Cooper Works Coupe starts at $31,900 and gets a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder producing 208-hp and 192 lb-ft of torque with overboost allowing 207 lb-ft. This Coupe is capable of a 0-60 time in 6.1 seconds with a top speed of 149 mph. This makes the JCW Coupe, the  ”fastest-accelerating Mini ever (with) the highest top speed,” the company says.

GALLERY: 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe

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 |  Jun 21 2011, 7:37 AM

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The latest flavor of Cooper to join the MINI lineup is the all new Coupe. Yet another variant of the similarly styled Brit-car, this two-door forgets about even trying to have rear seats instead trading them for a small cargo shelf and a fixed rear wall.

With a more distinctive coupe profile the new model’s rear liftgate opens more like a hatchback and there is a rear passthrough for larger items. Easily the car’s most distinguishing feature is its roof which resembles a backwards baseball cap. Another major design piece that’s also a performance addition is an active rear spoiler that pops up at 50 mph and drops back to sit flush on the rear deck below 37 mph. John Cooper Works models (shown) can be distinguished by more aggressive aero package.

While unique chassis tuning is a part of the package, the car’s overall dimensions are much the same as the standard hard-top MINIs; as are the engines. Powering the base Cooper Coupe is the brand’s 1.6-liter 4-cylinder making 121-hp at 6000 rpm and 118 lb-ft of torque at 4250 rpm, delivering a 8.3 second 0-60 mph time. The Cooper S Coupe gets a turbocharger added to the mix to deliver 181-hp at 5500 rpm and 177 lb-ft of torque at 1600 rpm and with a special overboost function will bring on 192 lb-ft. MINI claims a 0-60 mph time of 6.6 seconds.

As for the gotta-have-it John Cooper Works model, it delivers a peak 208-hp at 6000 rpm and 192 lb-ft of torque at 1850 rpm, with overboost upping that number to 207 lb-ft. Edging ever-so-close to the 5 second range, this is the fastest MINI ever and will hit 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds.

Acceleration numbers for the base Cooper and the top-trim JCW are a 10th of a second faster than their hard-top counterparts, likely due to a reduced curb weight – although MINI has yet to release those figures. Tossing the extra pounds is sure to help in adding performance on all levels, while the fixed rear divider is also likely to improve the chassis rigidity, thus improving performance further. We’ll find that out later this year when we first get behind the wheel of the new MINI Coupe.

GALLLERY: 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe JCW

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 |  Jun 06 2011, 11:57 AM

The all-new eagerly anticipated MINI Coupe is almost here. The all-new two-seater coupe is described as being an important competitor within the compact sports car class, a greater focus on performance compared to other MINI models. MINI describes its fine balance of the selection of engines, chassis set-up, weight distribution and aerodynamic properties, delivering optimum performance and superb driving pleasure.

The MINI Coupe will offer the Cooper, the Cooper S and the John Cooper Works Model. Surprisingly there will be no engines changes for the Coupe. Power will remain the same at 122-hp(base), 180-hp(S) and 208-hp(JCW). Both the Cooper and Cooper S Coupes are available with an optional six-speed automatic transmission or the six-speed manual transmission that comes fitted in all models as standard. An active rear spoiler is also offered on all Coupe models.

Outside, the car still retains the same MINI styling, but comes wrapped in a more aggressive package. Interestingly, the Coupe is actually based on the MINI Convertible, but with added bracing on the rear and sills, making it even stiffer than the current hatch. Pricing and weight have not yet been announced but we will soon have more information in the next few days.

GALLERY: MINI Coupe

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[Source: MotoringFile]

 

 |  Apr 08 2011, 12:41 PM

While it wasn’t the MINI Countryman WRC that did it, the brand still captured their first ever rally victory, with an S2000-class MINI John Cooper Works finishing first in the Rally dell’Adriatico.

The privateer team, known as Grifone, is campaigning the car in a regional rally series that adheres to the rules of the S2000 class. These are much closer to what one can drive on the street, and are also eligible for road racing series in Europe. The win will certainly give the brand a boost ahead of the Countryman WRC’s debut next week, and its first race in Sardinia in May.

[Source: Paultan.org]

 |  Feb 26 2011, 9:28 PM

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As part of MINI‘s 2011 Cooper lineup and debuts at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, an announcement has been made that a John Cooper Works Tuning Kit will be available for the MINI Cooper S, MINI Cooper S Clubman and MINI Cooper S Convertible. The tuning kit will raise horsepower to 200-hp and torque to 186 ft-lbs, with an overboost function that increases torque even more to 199 ft-lbs.

The John Cooper Works factory tuning kit includes an optimized engine management (reprogrammed ECU) and a new air filter system. Both these simple modifications are the reasons for the horsepower upgrade. The tuning kit boosts 0-62 mph acceleration to 6.8 seconds while raising top speed to 145-mph.

In addition, enthusiasts will also be able to purchase a new muffler with stainless steel exhaust tips, and 18-inch Cross Spoke Red Stripe wheels.

No pricing for the John Cooper Works Tuning Kit or other accessories has been announced yet.

MINI will debut the new tuning kit in Geneva alongside the new Cooper SD lineup as well as the Rocketman concept. Check back March 1st for full coverage here.

GALLERY: 2011 MINI Cooper John Cooper Works Tuning Kit

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Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 28 2011, 12:39 PM

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With a huge gulf existing between the road-going version of the MINI Countryman and the WRC-ready version, a halo version that could bridge the gap between urban crossover and full-blown race car could be an asset for MINI, and help them leverage some of the image boost that their rally program will provide, especially in parts of the world where WRC is a popular motorsport.

At this point, the idea of a hardcore Countryman is just a rumor, but the it’s not hard to imagine a pumped up Countryman, perhaps with some tweaks courtesy of a JCW upgrade package, more macho bodywork and big wheels. So far, a concept is supposedly planned for.

[Source: Ausmotive]

 |  Sep 03 2010, 11:14 AM

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Despite previous rumors to the contrary, MINI will be offering the John Cooper Works kit for the 2011 MINI Cooper S. Initial fears that the JCW kit would be killed off for being too close in power to the factory John Cooper Works car seem to be unfounded, as the kit retains the same power upgrades as the previous iterations.

A Cooper S equipped with the package will make 195 horsepower, an increase of 6 horses, while torque is up between 184 and 200 lb-ft, thanks an an overboost feature available at certain rpms. The kit consists of an ECU upgrade, air filter and performance exhaust system.

[Source: MotoringFile]

 |  Aug 19 2010, 7:40 AM

For months we’ve heard rumors of a new MINI model that will slot in underneath the Cooper in the British automakers lineup, but that doesn’t mean the newest and miniest MINI will put fuel economy ahead of fun. Inside sources are reporting that this new city car will get a high-powered John Cooper Works (JCW) edition.

At roughly 10 feet long the new MINI (Minor?) will compete with vehicles like the Smart fortwo and upcoming Toyota/Scion iQ. Powering the car will be a turbocharged 3-cylinder (likely a 1.5-liter), which is part of a new range of 3-cylinder engines BMW is producing to deliver both fuel economy and power. These engines are also expected to power the next-generation of Cooper models and in 1.5-liter turbo form should produce around 150-hp.

Along with a naturally low curb weight, this new model will get typical JCW upgrades like a stiffer and lower suspension, unique wheels and aerodynamics.

A concept version of the new smaller MINI could be unveiled as early as the Geneva Auto Show in March.

[Source: AutoExpress]

 |  Jun 09 2010, 2:32 PM

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Two stripped down models will join the MINI range within two years of the debut of the MINI Countryman crossover, one a Coupe, the other a 2-seat Roadster.

“The Coupe will arrive six months after the Countryman, and the Roadster 12 months after the Countryman,” said Jim McDowell, Vice-President of MINI USA. The Countryman will hit showrooms in February, 2011.

The MINI Coupe concept was essentially a Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works package (with the more powerful 211-horsepower turbo engine, suspension tweaks and big wheel package), with a “coupe” bodystyle. The Roadster used a base Cooper S engine (good for 172 horsepower), and jettisoned the exposed soft top from the standard Cooper Convertible in favor of a clamshell design similar to the Porsche Boxster Spyder.

Gallery: Mini Coupe and Roadster Concepts

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[Source: Inside Line]

 |  Apr 19 2010, 4:59 PM

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We absolutely love the MINI John Cooper Works (JCW) edition (reviewed here and here) and for 2011 it’s going to get more hard-core. According to the MINI experts at MotoringFile and thanks to some new spy photos from LeftLaneNews we have better insight to what the mid-cycle updates will include.

For starters, the JCW will stand out from the Cooper S a bit more thanks to a new aero kit that will be standard in all markets. This kit will also get an aggressive race-style rear diffuser, similar to the one on the JCW Challenge edition cars (see above). As for under the hood, the new JCW engine will get BMW’s Valvetronic technology that should deliver at least 215-hp and improve fuel economy as well. Inside a redesign will include a new center stack with a new hard drive Navigation system and MINI Connect.

As for the Copper and Cooper S, in North America the 2011 models will get updates already in place in Europe.

The 2011 JCW model is expected to debut at the Paris Auto Show this Fall.

[Source: LeftLaneNews via MotoringFile]

 |  Apr 09 2010, 10:57 AM

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Last year MINI unveiled a very special and very cool John Cooper Works Championship 50 Special Edition model in the U.K. to celebrate the company’s 50th birthday. And now according to the folks at MotoringFile, the JCW WC50 will also be offered in the U.S. – but it doesn’t come cheap.

Originally MINI had no plans to bring the car stateside, with just 250 units being offered in the U.K. – but now an additional 50 models will be offered in the U.S.

In true British fashion the sporty “little” car will get a deep green paint job and white stripes. MINI calls the green “Connaught Green” and the white is “Pepper White,” – which is used not only for the stripes but also for the roof. Inside the car gets black leather and red detailing, while under the hood, there’s the impressive JCW 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 208-hp.

So what will this collectors item hot hatch run you? Well, at $40,300, it’s more than $10,000 on top of a standard JCW model, making it the most expensive MINI ever.

GALLERY: MINI JCW WC50

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[Source: MotoringFile]

See after the jump for a full list of the JCW WC50 Special Edition specs:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 28 2010, 11:51 AM

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A high-performance version of the MINI Countryman crossover is “definitely under consideration” says MINI U.K.’s general manager Jochen Goller. Only recently did MINI officially confirm the Countryman model which is expected to make its word debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March. Currently the MINI Cooper S Countryman boasts the highest output with 184-hp. That would all change if a John Cooper Works model joined the lineup, putting out closer to 210-hp.

According to Goller, MINI is content (for now) to stick with six models, a number it will reach by the end of 2010 when the Coupe and Roadster models also join the lineup. And with no plans to introduce even more models, its likely MINI will follow its pattern of building sub-models, like the JCW lineup.

MINI hopes the Countryman will help keep customers who need and want something larger and a JCW model would help those who need larger, but also want a sporty vehicle. In reference to the Countryman, Goller commented that, “JCW has been a big success and we’ll look at doing it again here.”

[Source: AutoCar]

 |  Nov 12 2009, 12:13 PM

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MINI’s upcoming Countryman crossover just can’t catch a break. The launch of the vehicle has been delayed several times (the most recent being a push-back from the Frankfurt to Geneva auto shows), and now reports suggest the crossover might not debut in the U.S. until early 2011.

The well-connected folks at MotoringFile are reporting that while the vehicle is essentially completed, the folks at MINI (and its parent company, BMW) are skittish about launching the new vehicle in a less than favorable economic climate. While things do appear to be improving, the automaker is still contemplating a delay in the Countryman’s launch.

The report isn’t all bad news, however, as there’s some new info about the car. It will be available as both a four-seater and as a five-seater with the choice of either a 1.6-liter gasoline engine or a 2.0-liter diesel BMW engine.  On top of this, there’s the exciting news that the John Cooper Works department will release two JCW models: the first being a standard JCW-type car, while the second will feature AWD, more power and a lighter curb weight.

Again, MINI doing a crossover seems like a bad idea, but we’re sure if anyone can make the dull utility segment fun, it’s MINI. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait too much longer to find out.

[Source: MotoringFile]

 |  Sep 16 2009, 6:41 PM

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MINI confirmed it will produce the Coupé model unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show alongside the MINI Roadster.

Powered by the same John Cooper Works turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder as the current line of top-level MINIs, the Coupé makes 211hp and 192 ft-lbs of torque, with a bump to 206 ft-lbs possible thanks to an overboost function.

The unique roof, 2.36 inches lower than other MINI models, was designed to increase downforce, while create a functional amount of rear storage space. The new roof is also made of aluminum to help keep weight on the Coupé to a minimum. The windshield also slopes 16 degrees further than on previous MINI models.

As for the dimensions, the coupé measures 146.2-inches (3,714 millimeters) in length, 66.3-inches (1,683 millimeters) in width and 53.4-inches (1,356 millimeters) in height.

Both the MINI Coupé and the MINI Roadster will be built at the company’s Oxford facility.

Gallery: MINI Coupé

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 |  Aug 26 2009, 11:04 AM

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At long last, it’s here. Rumors of some sort of even-sportier MINI model have been bouncing around for years and finally, with the debut of the MINI Coupé Concept, there’s reason to believe MINI will actually take action and bring a sporty two-seater to market.

The debut comes exactly 50 years after Alec Issigonis showed the original MINI.

Powered by the same John Cooper Works turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder as the current line of top-level MINIs, the Coupe makes 211hp and 192 ft-lbs of torque, with a bump to 206 ft-lbs possible thanks to an overboost function.

The unique roof was designed to increase downforce, while create a functional amount of rear storage space. The new roof is also made of aluminum to help keep weight on the coupe to a minimum. MINI has yet to release all the details but does mention in its press release that “extreme lightweight technology makes this tw0-seater particularly agile and efficient.”

As for the dimensions, the Coupe measures 146.2-inches (3,714 millimeters) in length, 66.3-inches (1,683 millimeters) in width and 53.4-inches (1,356 millimeters) in height.

Inside the MINI Coupé Concept keeps much of the traditional MINI interior style. There are even two clocks inside, one for keeping time and one for keeping lap times!

MINI is expected to bring the Coupé Concept to market but it’s not likely until 2011 at the earliest.

GALLERY: MINI Coupé Concept

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Aug 24 2009, 11:07 AM

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MINI is set to offer a limited number of Rally Edition versions of the Clubman S model in the U.S. This new car will feature plenty of upgrades and will include a John Cooper Works aero kit – with the JCW tuning kit sold separately.

Only 70 Rally Edition models will be made with most U.S. dealerships receiving just one. All cars will come with a roof rack, roof basket and black driving lamps, as well as Rally Green mirrors and Side Scuttles and silver Sport Stripes.

In addition, all model swill come with the following list of options:

  • Midnight Black (A94),
  • Roof in Body Color (381)
  • Sport Package (ZSP) – DTC (5DT)
  • White Turn Indicators (785)
  • Xenon Headlights (522)
  • 17” Black Wheels
  • Roof Rails (386)
  • Anthracite Headliner (ZAH)
  • Piano Black Interior (4BD)
  • Automatic climate Control (534)
  • Leather Steering Wheel w/Multifunction
  • Comfort Bluetooth (6NE)

Dealers will offer the special Rally Edition model with either a summer package consisting of 17-inch Black Web-Spoke wheels with performance tires or an all-season package with 17-inch Black Crown Spoke wheels with all-season tires and a Cold Weather Package.

Deliveries are expected in October with a base price of $32,999.

GALLERY: MINI Clubman S Rally Edition

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[Source: Motoringfile]

MINI Building $50,000 Special Edition Model

Just 250 Europe-only John Cooper Works World Championship 50 Special Edition models will be made

 |  May 28 2009, 8:59 PM

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MINI just released two new special edition models, but that isn’t about to stop Britishy-German brand from introducing yet another. The latest collectors item to be unveiled by MINI to celebrate the company’s 50th birthday is the new John Coper Works Championship 50 Special Edition model – which celebrates the Cooper racing team’s two Formula 1 world championships in 1959 and 1960.

In true British fashion the sporty “little” car will get a deep green paint job and white stripes. MINI calls the green “Connaught Green” and the white is “Pepper White,” – which is used not only for the stripes but also for the roof.

Inside the car gets black leather and red detailing.

Other than those details there isn’t a lot to differentiate the car from a standard JCW model – except maybe for the price, which is expected to be roughly $53,000.

That dollar sign is, however, irrelevant as the car won’t be sold in North America – just Europe and the U.K. Getting your hands on one won’t be easy either as MINI plans to produce just 250 JCW Championship 50 models.

[Source: Edmunds.com]

GALLERY: MINI JWC Championship 50 Special Edition

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 |  Feb 10 2009, 11:59 AM

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After debuting the 2009 MINI Convertible recently, we knew it would only be time before the John Cooper Works edition came out.. and here it is.

With a turbocharged and direct-injection 1.6-liter four-cylinder, the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible makes 208 hp from 1850 to 5600 rpm and 192 ft-lbs of torque. A brief “overboost” mode will push torque to 207 ft-lbs for even better acceleration. The result is a 0-60 mph time of 6.6 seconds. Top speed is rated at 146 mph.

Even with all that performance, fuel consumption is impressive with a city/highway rating of 26/34 mpg.

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As all MINI models tend to appeal to driving enthusiasts MINI has equipped with John Cooper Works Convertible with a Sports Button, located next to the gearshift lever. Pushing this button will immediately make for a more enjoyable ride with tighter and more responsive steering and a more sensitive gas pedal.

Also for the enthusiast-driver is a set of 17-inch wheels with 205/45/17 tires. Each wheel weighs just 22 lbs, however, the tires are heavy runflats.

Standard safety features include ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), including Hill Assist, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) and a Brake Assist. Both traction control and stability control can be shut off in stages.

The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible also gets an electronic locking differential.

As for the convertible itself, it opens or closes in just 15 seconds and can be operated at speeds up to 18 mph.

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MINI will also offer John Cooper Works accessories for the sporting convertible including an aerodynamics package, a sports suspension,  cross-drilled brakes, a strut bar and carbon fiber mirror covers. Plenty of carbon fiber interior accessories are also offered. Other interesting options are a gearshift indicator and lateral acceleration meter – perfect for those who like to track their cars.

The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible will go on sale in the U.S. starting in April 2009, at a retail price of $34,950, which includes the $650 destination charge.

MINI John Cooper Works Convertible:

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…